Kathmandu, March 1
With a suspicion that substandard vehicles which were phased out in India are being imported into Nepal, a minister of the recently formed left government has proposed that Nepal ban the import of Euro 3 vehicles.
The government plans to give permits to vehicles meeting Euro 4 standards or above only very soon as developed countries have already reached as high as Euro 6 standard.
The standards refer to different levels of emissions of harmful gases from the vehicles and they are primarily being practised in the European Union and the European Economic Area. Countries in other parts of the world have also begun adopting these standards owing to their effectiveness in pollution control.
Environment Minister Lalbabu Pandit in a recent meeting of concerned authorities, experts and stakeholders has directed officials to begun preparations for the ban on vehicles of Euro 3 and standards below that.
Whereas more than 50 per cent of air pollution in Kathmandu Valley is attributed to smoke and gases emitted by vehicles, the minister says he will prioritise import and use of more healthy and environment-friendly vehicles.
“We should not let vehicles of old technology come here,” he says, “We should import vehicles that produce less smoke and have less impact on environment.”
Nepal’s immediate neighbour, India, has already stopped the registration of vehicles below Euro 4 standard. The government decision there had left around 850,000 vehicles unused. Some government officials suspect that those vehicles are being imported to Nepal currently.
“We are already late,” an official at the Environment Ministry says, “Other countries have already reached the Euro 6 standard and we are just discussing Euro 4. We need to get updated as much as we can.”